USAC announces deal making Ignite ethanol official racing fuel

By Holly Jessen | July 29, 2011

Following in the footsteps of other race-sanctioning bodies, the United States Auto Club now has an official fuel—ethanol. The difference is, this three-year partnership will mean much larger amounts of fuel used on racetracks across the nation, said Jay Berry, co-founder and vice president of National Biofuels Distribution, which produces Ignite High Performance Ethanol, the fuel USAC will use.

NASCAR, which started using E15 this racing season, will use about 75,000 gallons of ethanol per year. IndyCar, which currently runs on E100 but plans to debut an E85 car in 2012, uses about 170,000 gallons of ethanol, according to figures provided by Berry. Contrast that with the 2 to 3 million gallons of ethanol that will be used in a year in USAC races, Berry told EPM.

The three year sponsorship program between USAC and NBD, in association with ICM Inc., was announced July 28 at Lucas Oil Raceway USAC. NBD has developed a line of Ignite racing fuels with octane ratings of 108 and 114. The company also markets E98 to companies as well as supplying E30 and E85 for municipal, county and state flex-fuel vehicles.

“We are excited to take this direction toward environmental-friendly fuel usage,” said USAC president and CEO Kevin Miller. “Ignite Racing Fuels have proven during testing to have a 40 percent reduction in consumption, which translates to savings for our participants, while not compromising performance. It’s great to have an alternative which not only serves the environment but also the budgets of our competitors and offers a safer racing atmosphere.”

USAC made the switch to using Ignite ethanol as it’s official racing fuel after testing was completed by Technical Services Inc. in Syracuse, Ind., and Engler Machine & Tool. The fuel not only provides the octane necessary for high compression engines but it also lowers emissions, a benefit for drivers, teams and race fans. “Getting back on track with ethanol as a performance fuel will help deliver a message of higher octane and cleaner emissions,” said Steve Vander Griend from ICM. “By providing the public with a clear message of how ethanol performs in their personal vehicles can be demonstrated by winning on the track. ICM is very pleased with Ignite Fuel’s efforts and strategies to deliver ethanol to the USAC Series and looks forward to what lies ahead.”

Even before this announcement, Ignite ethanol was already being used as a fuel in drifting and the X-Games. “Ignite high performance fuel has made our ethanol tuning possible,” said Mario Clouser, USAC Mopar Midget Series driver.  “The consistency and quality of Ignite has helped us fine tune our engines and this performance has resonated on the track.”